Many challenges surround unmarried parents living in Virginia, especially on the support and custody of their children. As a parent in such a situation, you should discuss with your co-parent seeking to reach an agreement and avoid going to court.
You can file your case in court early enough, depending on your agreement and jurisdiction. This way, you will avoid child support challenges if your relationship deteriorates in the future. The court will issue an order which sets forth an agreement touching of your child born out of wedlock.
However, before the court lets you file a consent order, you must prove that you have agreed on terms that do not contradict the best interest of the minor. Besides, the courts will use the conditions in your agreement to determine whether it truly reflects the wishes of your child.
If you do not agree on support and custody, you or your partner can file a lawsuit to ask for a determination from the court. Typically, courts always want to keep the functional relationship between a child and parent going. Therefore, they will not prevent you from visiting your child unless there is a very compelling reason that may harm the child emotionally or physically.
Custody of a child involves more than the physical residence of your child now that you do not reside together as married couples do. It consists of the determination of which parent will make major decisions concerning the child’s education, religion, medical care, and many other essential things. The parent will make such decisions until they reach the consent age.